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Riverdale Strong: Archie From 'Riverdale' Is #Complicated, But Let's Try to Explain Him

CW

Archie Andrews has always been likeable. In fact, he was pretty much created to be an all-American good guy. Although he’s convincingly played by a New Zealander on the hit TV show, Riverdale, Archie still hasn’t lost his major qualities despite all the madness going on around him. So, what’s up with this Archie guy? Here’s exactly what you need to know to become the ultimate Archie fan.

So who is Archie from Riverdale? He's pretty similar to the comic books in some respects.

On the Archie comics official website, Archie is called “America’s Typical Teenager.” It pretty much covers it! He always wants to help out his friends, but his somewhat awkward nature causes some issues.

In the comics, one of the main storylines is Archie’s love triangle with Betty Cooper and Veronica Lodge. He pretty much never decides between the two ladies, unlike in Riverdale. The CW’s Archie has a little thing with Veronica (Camila Mendes) and Betty (Lili Reinhart) in Season 1, but that gets solved pretty quickly. Betty falls head over heels for Jughead (Cole Sprouse) — you know, everyone's favorite love story, Bughead — and Veronica and Archie start their own fling.

At the start of Riverdale Season 1, Archie has just gotten over his breakup with Riverdale High’s music teacher, Ms. Grundy. If you were a little confused by this relationship, don’t worry. It never happened in the comics! It kind of goes against Archie’s personality as a nice guy, but it works in the darker CW show.

But Archie is more than just a player, he deeply cares for all of his friends and even some of his enemies. It’s definitely clear that Archie from Riverdale has the same qualities. There is one major thing that separates TV Archie from Comic Book Archie, though...

Shirtless Archie makes many appearances in Riverdale. (Thank goodness.)

There are a lot of words you can use to describe Archie Andrews: sweet, helpful, cute, to name a few. But ‘hot’ was never one of them until KJ Apa showed up. Let’s just let the abs doing the talking.

Seventy-six years of Archie comics and the hero has never taken his shirt off. Just four minutes into Riverdale, KJ Apa’s shirt was gone. We have no complaints, to be honest. Considering the major difference between the two Archies is attractiveness, this is a pretty great adaptation. We can all thank KJ Apa for that.

Let's meet the actor who plays Archie on Riverdale, KJ Apa.

KJ Apa, born on June 17, 1997, was only 19 years old when he landing the part. After a four-month worldwide casting search, the New Zealand native, whose real name is Keneti James Apa, was chosen to play Archie Andrews. Before this, KJ had a lead role in a soap opera and a role in the movie A Dog’s Purpose, but Riverdale basically takes the cake.

While Archie doesn’t change that much for Riverdale, KJ certainly does. A natural brunette, KJ has to dye his hair to get Archie’s signature redheaded look. Also, you may have noticed that KJ is from New Zealand! That means his normal speaking voice has a natural Kiwi accent. KJ has to use an American accent for his role as the typical American guy. The actor told Glamour UK that the accent comes naturally to him. Of course, he has to work on it, but now he does it so often that it doesn’t even faze him.

Despite the huge transformation he goes through on the outside, it doesn’t take that much for KJ to transform on the inside. Both he and Archie love sports and music. Most importantly, both the boys are super close with their dads, KJ told Glamour UK. That makes Season 2 of Riverdale double as intense. But it also proves that KJ was pretty much meant to play Archie.

In Riverdale, Archie Andrews has been through a lot. Seriously, here's all the drama (spoilers ahead):

When Season 1 opens, Archie is pulling a straight up Troy Bolton-style rebellion from his father’s wishes. He doesn’t want to go into the family business, but wants to pursue music. Over the summer, he was in a relationship with the school’s music teacher For obvious reasons, that couldn’t last. What also makes returning to school different is the death of Jason Blossom. Cheryl Bloom’s brother was mysteriously shot and Archie takes it upon himself to help find the murderer. Meanwhile, he has try to mend his relationship with Betty Cooper, who has an unrequited crush on him and his best friend, Jughead, who is mad at him for being distant.

Through a series of unpredictable events, Archie and the gang are able to make it out of the tense situations relatively unharmed. By the end of Season 1, Veronica and Archie are warming up to each other and the Pussycats are open to Archie’s songwriting. Things seem to be looking up for him!

Except not for long. At the end of the season, after solving the mystery of who killed Jason Blossom, Archie heads to Pop's Chock'lit Shoppe to eat with his dad, Fred Andrews. While he's in the bathroom washing his hands, he finds Pop being held at gunpoint by a masked man, who will later be known as "The Black Hood." Before he can do anything, the masked gunman shoots his dad right before Archie’s eyes. In the season finale, it's unclear if Fred will live or die.

So far in Riverdale Season 2, Archie has been obsessed with finding his father’s assailant. During the premiere, Fred was unconscious in the hospital, although he later makes a successful recovery. Archie discovers that Ms. Grundy was also shot in her new home out of town, but she didn’t make it. He's determined to avenge his father's shooter, and even creates a reactionary group called the Red Circle, with inspiration from Veronica's dad. The high school sophomore gets suspended from the football team because of it, but won't quit. Archie even acquires a gun and gets into a brawl with the Serpents. He throws the gun into Sweetwater River, with convincing from Veronica.

In the midst of all of this, Betty is being harrassed by Black Hood, who is trying to isolate her from her loved ones. She confides in Archie, but it's still a stressful time all around. On Black Hood's orders, Archie breaks up with Jughead for Betty. It's a heartbreaking scene. The more pressing issue involves the Southside Serpents and the Ghoulies, a gang distributing Jingle Jangle. In order to stop the two gangs from merging, Jughead proposes (on advice from his dad FP) that they use a street race to settle it all. While they're racing, they're stopped by the police. Turns out, Archie notified Sheriff Keller and the leader of the Ghoulies is arrested. However, as Jughead points out, the problem won't be solved that easily. Archie just has a serious hero complex.

The only way to find out what's in store for Archie Andrews is to tune in to Riverdale. This only part of the madness that goes on in Riverdale. The main characters, Betty, Jughead, Veronica, and Cheryl have their own stuff going on that's arguably just as suspenseful. If you aren't already caught up, get to watching ASAP. Season 2 is only getting more dramatic.

Watch: See the Difference Between the Archie Comics and Riverdale

Related:

Riverdale Is Technically a Real Place, But You Can't Visit the One You See on TV

Cole Sprouse & Lili Reinhart Will Most Likely Never Confirm If They're Dating

Where Can You Watch 'Riverdale' Online? Sorry, Hulu Fans

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